That’s alive, that’s alive,
that’s alive, the neighbor calls
to his son, following the creek bed.
Why am I stuck on wanting a word
halfway between mother and neighbor,
a stepping stone slick with moss,
the kind of stone that falls
from my neighbor’s wall all spring long.
See how there’s no set word
for the neighbor’s mothering
the mother neighboring
start from startle: childish leap
stop from stopper: palm against the opening